When rookie running back Eddie Lacy left Sunday’s 38-20 victory over
Washington in the first quarter with a concussion, Green Bay Packers coach Mike McCarthy didn’t hesitate to call on James Starks to take over.
Starks didn’t disappoint his head coach either. He ran the ball 20 times for a career high 132 yards and a touchdown to become the first Packers player to rush for 100 yards in a regular-season game in nearly three years. It had been 44 regular-season games. It was also Starks most productive day since he rushed for 123 yards on 23 carries as a rookie against Philadelphia in the first round of the playoffs.
The carry that put Starks over the 100-yard mark was a 32-year touchdown scamper with less than three minutes left in the third quarter.
Starks entered the game after Washington safety Brandon Meriweather hit Eddie Lacy with the crown of his helmet, causing Lacy to receive a concussion.
Later, it was Meriweather who tried to tackle Starks while leading with the crown of his helmet. But Meriweather wound up injuring himself, suffering a concussion of his own, which forced him out of the game.
The Packers have repeatedly heard about their lack of rushing success and the fact that they’ve operated for such a long time without a 100-yard rushing performance. The monkey is now off their back. We’ll see if it leads to more rushing success down the road.